1937 BMW 328 #85029
1,911cc M328 OHV inline six-cylinder, 80 hp @ 4,500 rpm
Lance and Diane White (since 2010)
After Ernst Henne’s dominant victory at the Nürburgring in June 1936, the 328 became the sports car to have among gentlemen drivers in the popular 2.0-liter class.
One was the Netherlands’ Piet Nortier, who saw a 328 at the 1937 Berlin auto show and sold his 326 to get one. Born in Amsterdam in 1900, Nortier was a motorcycle racer who represented the Netherlands to the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) and organized his country’s first international races.
He purchased 328 #85029 from the the Stockfis and Zonen dealership in Rotterdam and raced it for the first time in 1938. That year, he finished 5th at Oldenbeek but retired from the Dumonceau race with a broken rear axle. On June 3, 1939, Nortier drove #85029 to an overall win at the “Prijs von Zandvoort,” the first road race held at the now-famous circuit. Nortier set the fastest time of the day on the 1.4-mile public road course, averaging 83.96 mph to top a podium comprised entirely of 328 drivers.
As the Nazi army rolled into Holland in May 1940, Nortier hid his BMW in a barn near Amsterdam; a year later, he pulled it out in the dead of night for an 85-mile escape to The Hague, where he stashed it under a pile of chairs in the cellar of an art museum. When the German occupation ended in May 1945, Nortier recovered his 328. Later, he was recognized with a Knight’s Cross for his work in the Dutch resistance.
Nortier was instrumental in building a permanent racetrack at Zandvoort, and raced #85029 in the first sports car race held on the new track in 1949. After the race, he replaced the car’s engine, then sold the car to BMW specialist Van der Tuin in Rotterdam, which sent it to rare car dealer Bart Loyens in Luxembourg.
Later in 1949, Loyens sold chassis #85029 to Ed Bond of Saybrook, Connecticut. Bond kept the car until 1965, then traded it to Pat Braden of Ann Arbor, Michigan for a Zagato-bodied Alfa. Braden stored the 328 in a furniture warehouse until he met fellow racer Fred Egloff, who’d been looking for a 328 for years. In 1968, Egloff purchased the partially-disassembled #85029 for $2,000, then restored it himself, retaining its competition-spec Alfin brakes, competition cam, and the wheels drilled for lightness after WWII. Not knowing its original color had been grey, Egloff painted it white, and when its rear axle broke (again) he replaced it with the stouter late-production part. Egloff raced #85029 for the next 30 years before selling it to Lance and Diane White in 2010.